Trips All Year – January & February

Skiers have long had “Turns All Year,” in which they attempt to ski every month of the year. Jeff Cole and his wife Samantha made a New Year’s resolution to get out of their hometown of Boise and go on at least one climbing trip every month in 2013, or “Trips All Year.”  This is where they went.


January. We started off the year with a trip to Joshua Tree. It went a little something like this:

Day 1
This rock isn’t that sharp, I don’t know what all the fuss is about.

Day 2 
Look at all of these sissies wearing tape gloves.

Day 3 
I wonder how you make those tape gloves.

Day 4 
Wait, I have to tape up before we can climb.

Day 5
My ego hurts as bad as my hands, 5.10 seems impossible here.

Day 6
This place was amazing, I can’t wait to come back!

February. Time for something a little closer to home, Smith Rock in Oregon.

Smith Rock is an interesting outdoor experience, like a section of Disneyland dedicated to climbing. But since the routes are AMAZING, dealing with the hordes of people makes it all worthwhile in the end.

Our favorite climb of the trip was Moonshine Dihedral, a striking line that a trad climber just can’t walk past. Case in point, we were on our way to climb something else when I stopped at the base of this route, plopped my bag down and told Samantha, “Let’s queue up for this, whatever it is.” It turns out that Moonshine Dihedral is one of the most classic lines at Smith, which is no surprise given that it protects easily and has fun stemming moves accompanied by excellent fingerlocks.

One benefits of the popularity of the area is getting to see people trying hard lines. While I was on Moonshine, a girl was redpointing 5.13 right next to me. It was impressive and I kept watching her instead of paying attention to my climb. Just being around people who were climbing harder routes inspired us to climb harder as well. My wife led her hardest climbs to date during our trip, and we decided that maybe all the people could be a good thing, if you had the right attitude.

Next up, sunny Phoenix!

Jeff Cole is a climber based in Boise, Idaho.

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